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Pharoah Peak

Banff National Park

A steep, direct climb to one of the most amazing summits in Banff National Park.

Hiking Severe

7.5 km
767 m
768 m
2-3 hrs
Low Point
2 km
High Point
2.7 km
Pharoah Peak Map

Pharoah Peak is nestled deep into the backcountry. Accessing this area generally requires camping at one of the nearby campgrounds. This particular route starts and finishes at the Egypt Lake campground.


It is possible to day hike this trail from some of the other campgrounds in the area, but I wouldn't consider attempting this as a day hike from Sunshine Village, unless you are trail running. Egypt Lake is a fabulous area to explore in the summer and is one of the busiest campgrounds in Banff National Park, but no visit here is complete without summiting the magnificent Pharoah Peak.

The trail starts by following the Whistling Valley trail to the open meadows. This is a well maintained trail, but it can still be snow covered even into early July. If you are completing this in the early season, expect a very wet & snowy trail. Hiking through the meadows is a great opportunity to see some wildlife, along with wide open views of the surrounding mountains. This is also where the trail gets interesting. From the meadows, there is no defined trail up to the summit. It's a wide open alpine slope with a well defined avalanche path that most people follow to the ridge.

The avalanche slope is very loose and makes for a better descent route. For the ascent, I found it better to stay to the climbers right, where shrubs and larger rocks make it a little easier to climb up. You will find yourself having to scramble in places to make it to the summit, but it will be well worth it as you see the views getting increasingly more beautiful as you gain elevation.

The views from the summit are some of the best in Banff National Park. With a trio of stunning alpine lakes in the valley below, this is a very unique viewpoint and one you will remember for a long time.

After a quick rest on the summit, it's time to start the descent. The loose terrain can make this a little challenging. You can either scree ski down the avalanche slope, or carefully descend the same way you went up on slightly more stable terrain.

If you are ever passing through this area, whether that be on a weekend trip to Egypt Lake, or an epic adventure on the Great Divide Trail, I highly recommend summiting Pharoah Peak. It really is one of the best views in Banff and is not to be missed.



Hiking challenging trails where simple scrambling, with the occasional use of the hands, is a distinct possibility. The trails are often filled with all manner of obstacles both small and large, and the hills are very steep. Obstacles and challenges are often unexpected and can be unpredictable.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between July and September


  • Alpine
  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area